This week, the Manx Independent asked for a top ten of my favourite music, books and films. An impossible task, but I gave it my best shot. The selection was published today and thought it may be a good idea to share! Enjoy…
I was only nine when Whiter Shade of Pale was released and this was the first time that I really heard a Hammond Organ and loved it. It’s also a great vocal by Gary Brooker and moves me every time I listen.
I have always loved this band ever since Pablo Honey, but consider this album their best and particularly loving Bodysnatchers). They have redefined modern indie music and really understand how to create a magnificent sonic stage!
Since I’ve Been Loving You is from the first Zeppelin album I owned and was one of the tracks that inspired me to play the guitar. In my opinion one of Jimmy Pages finest studio solos and a great blues song.
A lot of people missed this album but there are some magnificent, honest tracks on there.
Without Rings makes me weep every time.
He bares his soul in a way that no other artist can and I feel almost guilty, as it seems like eavesdropping on a very, very private conversation.
Love him or hate it’s difficult to dispute his genius and I love almost every film he has made. His use of music, casting and long periods of dialogue is amazing, especially in Pulp Fiction which I watch regularly, every time finding something new.
Another of my favourite Directors. I remember going to see Alien for the first time at the movies and when we left, didn’t want to open the boot of the car. He transformed the SF movie from clean shiny spaceships to grimy freighters. Blade Runner is atmosphere personified.
I was 10 and 2001) was the first proper SF film I saw at the movies.My mum and dad took me and didn’t understand it at all.
It did however, turn me on to genre inspiring me to voraciously consume SF novels and films. Now when I watch, I understand and admire his fantastic cinematography.
Written in one year after I was born, Starship Troopers really caused a stink in the early 60’s critics claiming it promoted fascism and militarism. Well I was young didn’t care. It is a great read and love the recent Paul Verhoeven film. Full of blood and guts but also changes the socio-political perspective of the book.
Read the book then watch the film.
I read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in the late 70’s. Many consider it to be the most powerful indictment of the USSR’s gulag ever made and they are right. People were not really talking about human rights back then and it really woke me up with a real jolt.
If you like SF, Banks’ ‘Culture’ novels are great fun, each one taking you into an unparalleled galactic futurescape. The problem is, as Angela will testify, once I pick one up it has to be read almost in one sitting and they are BIG books.
Use of Weapons is amazing and often sited as ‘the best SF film never to be made’.
‘The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.’
James A. Michener (1907-1997)